What You Need to Know About Transferring from the Place of Death
After someone passes on there are many arrangements that need to be made, including any visitation, funeral or memorial services, and burial or cremation. But before all of that, the body has to be transferred. This has to be done in a very specific way to be in compliance with laws and regulations.
Pronouncement of Death
Before the body can be moved, death needs to be pronounced with an official time and date of death. This is done by a medical professional who fills out a pronouncement of death form, which will be used later to produce the death certificate.
Once the official form has been filed, then arrangements can be made to transfer the body, with the exact arrangements changing depending on where the body is located. The only exception is if the death might not be from natural causes, in which case it will go to the Coroner’s office for an autopsy.
If Death Occurs in a Hospital
If death is pronounced in a hospital, federal law requires that the hospital’s organ procurement staff is contacted so they can talk to the family about organ donation.
The family should make arrangements with a funeral home to have the body transferred to the funeral location. Some hospitals have morgues, and the body may be stored there until transport is arranged.
If the Death is the Result of an Accident
Pronouncement can occur at the scene, at the hospital, or a coroner’s office. After that, transport can be arranged.
If the Death is in a Nursing Home
The staff at a nursing home is able to pronounce death. They will also immediately arrange transport of the body. In fact, many nursing homes get the information about the chosen funeral home as part of the admittance process.
If the Death Occurs in the Home
Someone should call 911 and request that a person be sent who can fill out the pronouncement of death form. If the person was under hospice care, than the hospice is also able to fill out the pronouncement of death. Once this is completed, a funeral home can be contacted to arrange transport.
Independent Transport Businesses
The majority of body transfers is done by funeral homes, but there are also independent body transfer companies. These companies do nothing else but transfer bodies. Independent transfer companies are usually used when the body needs to be transferred across state or country lines. They can either be contracted directly, or used by funeral homes.
Your best source when it comes to having to transfer a body is always a funeral home or mortuary. Most of the time they’ll take care of everything for you, which can be a great help when you’re dealing with the loss of a loved one.